While the particulars of Mr. Robinson's application process will not necessarily prove that Nationstar mishandled the applications of other individual class members, these facts fairly encompass the types of claims that would be brought by the members of the class. While several district courts have concluded that loss mitigation applications submitted before Regulation X's effective date do not count as the single application for which a loan servicer must comply with Regulation X, see, e.g., Farber v. Brock & Scott, LLC, No. MSJ JR 0284. A complete loss mitigation application is "an application in connection with which a servicer has received all the information that the servicer requires from a borrower in evaluating applications for the loss mitigation options available to the borrower." 702, 703. Id. the same interest in establishing the liability of defendants." Day to address discovery issues. that it is improper to pay an expert witness a contingent fee." 10696, 10836. Code Ann., Com. State attorneys general are here for homeowners, Raoul adds. 15-0925, 2015 WL 5165415, at *4 (D. Md. Cal. (quoting 7AA Charles Allan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure 1778 (3d ed. or misleading oral or written statement . Many impacted consumers have already received refunds and more will be contacted by the settlement administrator in the coming weeks. The Robinsons assert that they have paid a total of $6,147.12 in unspecified fees to Nationstar. Nationstar's reliance on Accrued Financial Services v. Prime Retail, Inc., 298 F.3d 291 (4th Cir. On March 8, 2014, Nationstar sent to Mr. Robinson a letter stating that he was ineligible for a HAMP modification, but on March 15, 2014, it sent a different letter offering a loan modification under which Mr. Robinson would receive a reduced interest rate for two years. Although Monday's case specifically addresses Nationstar's actions following the Great Recession, the outcome can affect today's homeowners, says Kwame Raoul, attorney general of Illinois. Since there is no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Nationstar violated subsection (h), summary judgment will be entered for Nationstar on that claim. Accordingly, Nationstar did not send the Robinsons an acknowledgment letter within five days stating that it had received the application, as required by Regulation X. 3d 249, 266 (D. Md. The Federal Rules of Evidence do not prohibit these kinds of arrangements. 1 Nationstar later conceded that at the time the Robinsons submitted their application, it had not yet updated its systems to comply with Section 1024.41. Since the Court already considered and ruled on these issues, see supra part I.B, it will not revisit those arguments here. Presently pending is Nationstar's Motion for Summary Judgment, Nationstar's Motion to Strike, and the Robinsons' Motion for Class Certification. If more documents are required, then the same Remedy Star substatus and LSAMS code that denote missing documents are entered. A separate Order shall issue. As a result, on January 29, 2018, the Magistrate Judge granted the Robinsons' Motion to Compel in which the Robinsons had sought to have the Court order Nationstar to accept and run scripts created by the Robinsons' expert to extract the relevant data from Nationstar's databases on the sample of loans from which they could test their methodology for identifying members of the proposed classes. According to Oliver, to determine that certain disclosures or specific information were conveyed to borrowers, the "objectid" field used in FileNet can be used to identify the type of letter sent. Nationstar denies all allegations of wrongdoing and no judgment or determination of wrongdoing has been made. Bouchat, 346 F.3d at 522. 2013); Poindexter v. Teubert, 462 F.2d 1096, 1097 (4th Cir. R. Civ. . Code Ann., Com. 2010). Fla. 2009), aff'd, 398 F. App'x 467, 471 (11th Cir. In Robinson v., Under the RESPA, civil liability is limited to "borrowers": "[w]hoever fails to comply with any provision of, Full title:DEMETRIUS ROBINSON and TAMARA ROBINSON, Plaintiffs, v. NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, Court:UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MARYLAND. See MCC JR0529-31. See id. ORDER Scheduling Settlement Conference for Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. However, if the costs are shown to have been incurred in response to the RESPA violation, the Court finds that they would be actual damages within the meaning of 12 U.S.C. The Class is represented by Rafey S. Balabanian of Edelson PC. EQT Prod. Here, Mrs. Robinson signed the Deed but did not sign the Note. After attempts to modify their loan failed, the Robinsons filed a Class Action Complaint against Defendant Nationstar Mortgage, LLC ("Nationstar") for alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C. While the date that Nationstar's systems came into compliance, is unknown, Nationstar's systematic noncompliance presents common questions of law and fact for all class members. . Subscribe to our free newsletter right now. 218. 2005))). 1024.41(a). 877-683-9363. Gunnells v. Healthplan Serv., Inc., 348 F.3d 417, 458 (4th Cir. 16-0117, 2017 WL 4347826, at *15 (D. Md. Co., 350 F.3d 1018, 1023 (9th Cir. The use of a class action is primarily justified on the grounds of efficiency, because it advances judicial economy to resolve common issues affecting all class members in a single action. 1024.41, a regulation of RESPA that outlines loss mitigation procedures. Law 13-301 and 13-303, because the Robinsons do not have standing to bring those claims. See id. DEMETRIUS ROBINSON and TAMARA ROBINSON, Plaintiffs, v. NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC, Defendant. The Robinsons do not address this argument in their Opposition. Because Nationstar employees used standard templates to communicate with borrowers, Oliver concluded that Regulation X violations can be identified through the existence of noncompliant templates and the dates that those templates were in use. Law 13-316(c). Id. In its Motion to Strike, Nationstar moves to strike the report of the Robinsons' expert witness, Geoffrey Oliver, on the grounds that (1) Oliver was hired pursuant to an ethically improper contingency fee agreement; and (2) his testimony does not meet the requirements of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). Baez, 709 F. App'x at 983. When considering whether expert testimony is reliable or should be excluded, the court considers the following factors: "When an expert's report or testimony is 'critical to class certification,'" the district court "must make a conclusive ruling on any challenge to that expert's qualifications or submissions before it may rule on a motion for class certification." 12 C.F.R. To calculate damages, Oliver stated that he would look to data from the LSAMS application, including data tables that contain fee information, to identify fees that would not have been charged but for Nationstar's various RESPA violations, but that he was not able to evaluate this data in his report because it had not been provided to him. Since the MCPA and Regulation X allow recovery only of "economic damages," Md. Law 13 . Nationstar's Motion will be denied as to this claim. Id. Others, however, have concluded that "all expenses, costs, fees, and injuries fairly attributable to" a servicer's RESPA violation are damages, "even if incurred before the" violation, because the "wrongful act . Where the Robinsons may be able to show that they have suffered actual damages, their claim for statutory damages, upon a showing that Nationstar has engaged in a pattern or practice of violating Regulation X, remains viable. 12 U.S.C. Claim Your Cash Every Week! 1976). Code Ann., Com. Signed by Judge Theodore D. Chuang on 8/18/2015. See Md. Id. Thus, Mrs. Robinson is not "obligated" to pay the amount due on the Note and therefore is not a "borrower" for purposes of RESPA. See McGraw, 646 F.2d at 176. 1 . MCC JR 318, 530-531. Nationstar Mortgage agreed to settle an action commenced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for $91 million to resolve allegations surrounding mortgage servicing misconduct and deceptive practices that resulted in financial harm to borrowers. 143. Under subsections (f) and (g), a loan servicer is not permitted to begin foreclosure proceedings or move for foreclosure judgment if "a borrower submits a complete loss mitigation application" except in certain circumstances. Although based on imperfect data, Oliver's expert report reveals that such analysis can substantially address whether Nationstar violated 12 C.F.R. Class litigation would also promote consistent results on the common question whether Nationstar engaged in a pattern or practice of violating Regulation X and would provide Nationstar with finality and closure on that issue. . Where Accrued Financial addresses a different scenario with a different remedy, the Court does not find that it requires that the testimony of an expert witness paid on contingency fee basis must be excluded. 13-316(e)(1). v. DEMETRIUS ROBINSON; TAMARA ROBINSON, Plaintiffs - Appellees, v. . Gym, Recreational & Athletic Equip. At this juncture, this allegation plausibly supports a finding of willful noncompliance. Code Ann., Com. at 248-49. 1024.41(b)(2)(B), (c)(1)(ii); Md. After several customers of Green Earth Services canceled its services, the Robinsons sought loss mitigation in the form of a loan modification from Nationstar. On November 21, 2014, the Robinsons filed suit against Nationstar on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly situated individuals nationwide. Id. RESPA's implementing regulations, codified at 12 C.F.R. Nationstar also asserts that the Robinsons have not identified evidence sufficient to support their MCPA claims. Potentially eligible class members for all of these provisions can be identified through the LSAMS and Remedy data that marks that an application was received, identified as complete, and denied. Where the deed of trust explicitly states that Mrs. Robinson is not obligated on the loan, the Court finds that she is not a borrower under RESPA and cannot bring the claim against Nationstar under Regulation X. Nationstar employees use four software applications and databases to store and track electronic information relating to loans: (1) Loan Services and Accounting Management System ("LSAMS"), Nationstar's primary loan servicing software, which contains data for loans, including the permanent records of the accounting history, communication logs, and letters documented with codes that were sent to the borrower; (2) Remedy Star, Nationstar's proprietary loss mitigation and loan modification management system, which, among other tasks, tracks the status and timeline of a loan modification and links to documents stored in FileNet; (3) LPS Desktop ("LPS"), an application which Nationstar uses to track and manage foreclosure processes and communicate with outside attorneys; and (4) FileNet, a platform that houses PDF images of documents, including letters sent to borrowers by Nationstar. The plaintiff's claim "cannot be so different from the claims of absent class members that their claims will not be advanced by" proof of the plaintiff's own individual claim. 2605(f). Once the documents are received, the Remedy Star substatus and LSAMS code are changed again to mark the application complete. at *2. . . The company has already paid about $57.5 million in restitution to affected consumers, according to the CFPB. Rather than rendering the testimony inadmissible, the fee arrangement is relevant to the expert's credibility. Subsequent to the Court's approval, one of the objectors to the settlement filed an appeal. Congress enacted RESPA to protect consumers from "unnecessarily high settlement charges caused by certain abusive practices" in the real estate mortgage industry, and to ensure "that consumers throughout the Nation are provided with greater and more timely information on the nature and costs of the settlement process." ; 78 Fed. Moreover, Nationstar cites no authority for the proposition that a loss mitigation application would not be deemed "complete" for purposes of RESPA upon such a formal designation, and any rule that would deem such an application incomplete in the event that an underwriter subsequently decided to ask for additional material would be entirely unworkable. Some courts have held that administrative costs that predate the alleged RESPA violation cannot constitute "actual damages." He was retained by the Robinsons under an arrangement through which he is to be paid a flat fee of $125,000: $62,500 up front, with an additional $62,500 to be paid if a class is certified in this case. Petitioner: NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE, LLC: Respondent: TAMARA ROBINSON and DEMETRIUS ROBINSON: Case Number: 19-379: Filed: September 24, 2019: Court: U.S. Court of Appeals . For purposes of ascertainability, the requirements of 12 C.F.R. J. Although Nationstar argues that Mr. Robinson has a conflict of interest because he wishes to avoid foreclosure and to delay payments on his mortgage, the record does not reflect that proposition. However, the burden is on the plaintiffs to show that other class members exist and that their joinder is impracticable; a court may not rely on mere speculation that numerosity has been satisfied. For the requirements that hinge on the timing of a communication or response, Oliver's methodology consists of using Nationstar's data from the LSAMS and FileNet software applications relating to a sample of 400 loans to identify the dates when certain events occurredsuch as the filing of a loan modification application, when a loan modification application became complete, and the sending of an acknowledgment or decision letter to a borrowerand then counting the days between the dates to assess whether a RESPA timing requirement was satisfied. 1024.41(b)(1), which requires reasonable diligence in obtaining documents and information to complete a loss mitigation application; and Md. See Keen, 2018 WL 4111938, at *5-6. 1998). J. He asserts that damages to borrowers can be calculated based on entries in LSAMS and other data showing that fees were assessed, and that it would be possible to identify which fees would not have been assessed but for a RESPA violation. Law 13-303(4)-(5), 13-408. Robinson v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC Complaint with jury demand against Nationstar Mortgage, LLC. Gariety v. Grant Thornton, LLP, 368 F.3d 356, 366 (4th Cir. Proof of these claims requires a showing of the dates that an application was received, an acknowledgment letter was sent, an application became complete, Nationstar sent a decision letter to the borrower, and a foreclosure sale is scheduled. Although each class member must individually show that they suffered "actual damages" under 12 U.S.C. Fed. A class action allows representative parties to prosecute not only their own claims, but also the claims of other individuals which present similar issues. Johnson, 374 F. App'x at 873; Keen v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, No. Reg. 20-cv, -2202, 2021 WL 4462909, at *1 (S.D. Law 13-316(c) are triggered upon the submission of a loss mitigation application, while 12 C.F.R. Nationstar said in a statement that its settlements were based on "loan-servicing practices" that the company used between 2010 and 2015 and has since discontinued. Rules 19-303.4(b) (2018). The Fourth Circuit has stated that 74 members is "well within the range appropriate for class certification," Brady v. Thurston Motor Lines, 726 F.2d 136, 145 (4th Cir. Wesleyan Coll. 2003). "); cf. For example, in EQT, the court concluded that a proposed class of all individuals who owned an interest in a gas estate was not ascertainable because the actual owners could be determined only through an individualized review of land records. It follows that only borrowers may bring a claim that a loan servicer has violated Regulation X. During discovery, Oliver revealed that his fee arrangement with the Robinsons includes a flat fee for his expert services, but that a portion of the fee is contingent on the certification of a class in this case. 2601-2617 (2012), specifically RESPA's implementing regulations known as "Regulation X," 12 C.F.R. He asserted that the amount of fees was calculated based on Nationstar's statements, but he could not specify the nature of the fees. Finally, to the extent that Oliver did not execute his stated methodology for identifying damages, that limitation is again based in part on Nationstar's failure to make relevant data available to him. As for typicality, the named plaintiff must be "typical" of the class, such that that the class representative's claim and defenses are "typical of the claims or defenses of the class" in that prosecution of the claim will "simultaneously tend to advance the interests of the absent class members." 1024.41 See Krakauer v. Dish Network, L.L.C., 925 F.3d 643, 658 (4th Cir. 2015) Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Robinson v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC 1:2021cv00452 | US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio | Justia Log In Sign Up Find a Lawyer Ask a Lawyer Research the Law Law Schools Laws & Regs Newsletters Marketing Solutions Justia Dockets & Filings Sixth Circuit Ohio Northern District Robinson v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC Robinson v. . Code Ann., Com. After attempts to modify the loan failed, the Robinsons filed a class action Complaint against Defendant Nationstar Mortgage, LLC ("Nationstar") for alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"), 12 U.S.C. at *5. 1024.41(c)(1)(ii), 1024.41(b)(1), the Court concludes that common computerized analysis will substantially advance the resolution of such claims, even if not entirely eliminating the need for reviewing certain specific file documents.
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